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Coretalk: Sunnen, RMC Form Strategic Alliance To Market Equipment

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This Sunnen/RMC alliance is effective immediately. RMC products will be sold under the Sunnen/RMC brand. Sunnen’s team of field engineers and service specialists will now represent and support the RMC line.

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“The new Sunnen/RMC branded products complement Sunnen’s existing product line,” said Mike Haughey, Sunnen’s chief operating officer.

Ray Meyer, president of RMC, agreed: “The Sunnen/RMC alliance utilizes the strengths of both Sunnen and RMC. We will now have an exceptional dedicated nationwide sales and service team backing our products allowing us to concentrate on developing and bringing innovative products to the engine builder industry.”

In addition to the Sunnen and Sunnen/RMC lines, Sunnen is the exclusive supplier for the Sunnen/DCM product line. All Sunnen, Sunnen/RMC and Sunnen/DCM products are backed by technical support and customer service that Sunnen customers have come to expect.

For more information, visit www.sunnen.com.

Exhibiting Supplier Support Grows For Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week

More supplier companies have signed on to exhibit at the industry’s first Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week product and technology show, reports MEMA Topline News. The January 2006 show will be part of a week-long event combining several aftermarket meetings and exhibits at a single site.

HDAW is scheduled for Jan. 23-27, 2006, at the Mirage in Las Vegas and will kick off following the annual Heavy Duty Dialogue on Jan. 23. Some 2,000 heavy-duty distributors, truck fleet/heavy-duty specialists and manufacturer personnel are expected to attend the week’s events.

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The product and technology show will be open three days from noon until 6 p.m., starting Tuesday, Jan. 24. It will complement aftermarket technical and business education sessions, individual association meetings, one-on-one meetings and social and networking functions. Those events will take place outside the show hours.

For more information about HDAW, go to www.mema.org.

Eaton Corp. Purchases Automotive Lifter Manufacturer Morestana

Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation recently announced it has purchased Mexican automotive lifter manufacturer Morestana S.A. de C.V. for $8 million. Morestana, which was owned by DESC, S.A. de C.V., produces hydraulic lifters for automotive engine manufacturers and the automotive aftermarket.

Morestana had 2004 sales of $13 million. It has 230 employees and is based in Aguascalientes, Mexico, northwest of Mexico City.

“Morestana’s complementary product lines provide Eaton with the capability to deliver complete valve actuation products to our global customers,” said Joseph Palchak, vice president – engine air management operations. “The purchase strengthens our position in the automotive aftermarket and with engine manufacturers, offering products and business opportunities for both our North American and Mexican customers.”

Eaton Corporation is a diversified industrial manufacturer with 2004 sales of $9.8 billion, dealing in electrical systems and components for power quality, distribution and control; fluid power systems and services for industrial, mobile and aircraft equipment; intelligent truck drivetrain systems for safety and fuel economy; and automotive engine air management systems, powertrain solutions and specialty controls for performance, fuel economy and safety.

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For more information, visit www.eaton.com.

Federal-Mogul Names President/CEO Jose Maria Alapont New Chairman

Federal-Mogul Corp. has named President and CEO Jose Maria Alapont to the additional post of chairman of the board of directors for Federal-Mogul, effective immediately. He replaces Robert Miller, who has resigned to become chairman and CEO of Delphi Corp.

Alapont was named president and CEO of Federal-Mogul on March 1.

Prior to joining Federal-Mogul, Alapont was CEO and a member of the board of directors at IVECO – the commercial vehicle company of the Fiat Group. Between 1997 and 2003, Alapont held several leadership roles at Delphi Automotive Systems.

Alapont began his career at Ford Motor Company in 1974 and over the course of 15 years held a number of management positions, from quality and manufacturing at Ford of Spain to powertrain and purchasing at Ford of Europe.

Anne Graves Becomes First Woman President-Elect in PWA History

The Performance Warehouse Association election results are in and are historic. Anne Graves, president of Birmingham, AL-based SECO Performance Centers, became the first woman to win a presidential race in the PWA’s 35-year history, besting Ken Woomer, president, Competition Specialties, Auburn, WA, and Larry Pacey, president of National Performance Warehouse in Miami. Pacey also ran for Treasurer and was elected.

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“I’m humbled and excited that I’ve been elected as the President-Elect of the PWA,” said Graves, who is currently the association’s Treasurer. “I’m humbled to think that my peers have placed their trust and confidence in me by electing me and I’m excited to think of the opportunities that lay ahead for the association in the next years. I look forward to working with incoming PWA President Gary Light and Larry Pacey the next two years – this is a great leadership team that has been elected. As President-Elect, I’ll be working to discover what the memberships’ current needs are and ways that we, as an association, can help to meet those needs.”

As President-Elect, Graves, who just completed a 4-year stint on the SEMA Board, will officially become the association’s first woman commander in chief Jan. 1, 2008, after Light’s 2-year term is complete. Light, of Speed Warehouse, Hayward, CA, takes office Jan. 1, 2006.

Pacey, who also was a SEMA Board member, has been on the distribution side of the automotive aftermarket for more than 35 years. He takes office as Treasurer on Jan. 1, 2006, and serves 2 years.

Clevite Engine Parts Expands Scope Of Master Distribution Warehouse

Clevite Engine Parts has announced plans to expand the capabilities and capacity of its master distribution center in Olive Branch, MI. The expansion is the result of relocating its packaging operation from its Collierville, TN, facility. To accomplish this move, Clevite will be expanding the Olive Branch facility by more than 100,000 square feet. This move will consolidate all packaging, distribution, customer service and engineering services under one roof.

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“This shift of activities further enhances our commitment to provide the most streamlined service to our customers,” said Terry Shively, vice president and general manager of Clevite. “Servicing our customers is of utmost importance to us, and they can rest assured that we are doing all that we can to capitalize on our strengths in this competitive industry.”

“Given that the Collierville location is only 15 miles from Olive Branch, the transition should be smooth and our customers will continue to experience the exceptional service levels Clevite is known for,” said Lee Murray, vice president of marketing for Clevite.

In addition to the Olive Branch facility, Clevite has a master gasket packaging and distribution center in Churubusco, IN, and eight strategically located customer care centers across the U.S.

Cost Savings Solutions for Automotive Suppliers Seminar

Mark your calendar for a three-day seminar series focused on three of the most important issues facing the automotive supplier industry: Healthcare, Supply Chain and Pricing Strategies. The seminar will be held August 16-18 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dearborn, MI.

Each day-long event will focus on best practices, innovations for cost savings, technology advancement and applicable solutions for manufacturing organizations as well as address issues that challenge the revenue growth in business today.
The cost for one-day attendance is $250. If your company plans to attend all three days, the cost is $650. With the three-day registration, an organization can have one individual attend all three seminars or send different individuals to each event.

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This event is being produced by the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association, the aftermarket segment of MEMA. Members of MEMA’s other market segment groups – the Original Equipment Suppliers Association and the Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association – are also invited to attend.

AAIA, CAWA to Consolidate Legislative Presence in California; New Office Opens
The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) and the California and Nevada Automotive Wholesalers’ Association (CAWA) will open a new jointly operated government affairs office in Sacramento, CA, on July 1.

“This is an historic initiative that will greatly enhance the aftermarket’s presence and effectiveness in the state,” said Rodney Pierini, CAWA’s president and CEO.

“Clearly, initiatives undertaken in California have a major impact on our industry nationally. Therefore it is absolutely critical that we have an effective and strong presence in the state,” said Kathleen Schmatz, AAIA’s president and CEO.

CAWA and AAIA have hired Jennifer Zins and Norm Plotkin to represent the industry in Sacramento. Zins has worked in the aftermarket industry for many years both with CAWA and most recently as executive director of the Automotive Service Councils of California (ASC). Plotkin brings 15 years of legislative and advocacy experience in the California State Legislature.

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Federal-Mogul Corp. Honors Global Material ‘Suppliers Of The Year’

Federal-Mogul Corporation awarded Supplier of the Year honors to six global parts and materials suppliers for outstanding quality, delivery and cost-saving performance.

The select group of companies – two from North America and four from Europe – provide products or materials that Federal-Mogul uses to produce components and systems ranging from brake pads to engine bearings for leading global OEMs and Aftermarket service.

“We are proud to recognize these companies whose performance creates value for Federal-Mogul and its customers by delivering quality products and innovative solutions that support our commitment to operational excellence worldwide,” said Jeff Kaminski, senior vice president, global purchasing.

Companies named by Federal-Mogul as Supplier of the Year are Graftech, Inc., Cleveland, OH; SGL Carbon Group, Valencia, CA; Haver & Boecker, Oelde, Germany; Metall Management Aktiengesellschaft, Mayen, Germany; Oekotech Resourcing AG, Schaanwald, Liechtenstein; and Wieland Werke, Ulm, Germany. Federal-Mogul also will award 240 suppliers for zero defects and 168 suppliers for delivery performance.

U.S. Motor Vehicle Aftermarket Grows to $257 Billion, According to AAIA
U.S. motor vehicle aftermarket sales increased by 5.4 percent in 2004 to $257 billion, according to the “2005/2006 Aftermarket Factbook,” recently published by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA).

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“Wall Street should take notice that in 2004, our market expansion exceeded forecasts by nearly 2 percent,” said Kathleen Schmatz, AAIA president and CEO. “Continued growth in the number of registered vehicles, licensed drivers and miles traveled are factors driving another strong year in 2005.”

Industry growth was led by the medium- and heavy-duty segment, which expanded 7.1 percent to $66.5 billion. The automotive light vehicle segment increased 4.8 percent to $190.5 billion.

The Factbook is available to AAIA members for $125 and $225 for non-members. To order by phone, call 301-654-6664, or order online at www.aftermarket.org.

Jeff Gordon Racing School Chooses Lincoln Electric As Welding Partner

Four-time NASCAR Champion Jeff Gordon recently announced he is opening a driving school to provide exciting an entertaining motorsports experience. “The NASCAR experience has always been exhilarating for me,” said Gordon, driver of the #24 Dupont Chevrolet. “It has been the most exciting part of my life and I want the fans to be able to experience the thrill of speed the same way I do.”

The school will begin operations in August at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina and will expand to multiple NASCAR speedways in 2006. The racing school cars will be authentic cars actually raced by top NASCAR drivers. Many of the cars have been raced to Victory Lane by drivers such as Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and others at the wheel.

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As a proud partner of the Mario Andretti Racing School, Cleveland-based Lincoln Electric Company will also partner with the Jeff Gordon Racing School in supplying welding and cutting equipment, technical training and welding application support. “We are extremely excited to align our brand with two of the biggest names in racing and I am confident we will make a formidable team,” said Phillip Fulgenzi, Director of Motorsports Marketing for Lincoln Electric.

Anyone 18 years old with a driver’s license can drive at the Jeff Gordon Racing School. For more information or to make reservations, call (877) 4-Jeff-24, or visit andrettigordon.com.

Japan’s Autobacs Seven to Invest $400 Million to Expand Network

From AFX News – Autobacs Seven Co. Ltd, a major Japanese automotive supply chain, will invest approximately $400 million over four years to reorganize and expand its domestic network, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported, without citing sources.

By March 2009, Autobacs Seven plans to have 630 sales sites, up 20 percent from 516 as of last March, the business daily said.

Its number of regular stores, some of which are operating in the red, will be reduced to 397 from 426. But the number of larger Super Autobacs stores will be increased to 101 from 60 within four years, the report said.

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The number of stores engaged in the buying and selling of used auto products will be increased to 46 from 26, while the number of sites specializing in inspection and repair will be expanded to 86 from four, it said.

Prototype Engine Varies Compression Ratio While Running

A system for infinitely varying the compression ratio of a running engine has been developed in France. The design allows compression ratio to be adjusted “on the fly” to optimize performance according to engine speed and load. Infinitely varying compression ratio also enhances combustion of the fuel mixture for benefits in economy and emissions. The new French design is one of several recent prototype engines espousing the potential of variable compression.

Ratio changes in the range between 9:1 and 14:1 for a gasoline engine are enabled by an eccentric fitted within an enlarged big end of the connecting rod. The eccentric is centered on the crankpin, with the rotary position of the eccentric’s outer ring determining the stroke of the connecting rod and thus the relationship of the piston at top dead center (TDC) to the cylinder head. Incremental rotation of the eccentric’s outer ring is handled by a piezoelectric actuator thrusting against a narrow lug on the ring flank. The actuator is mounted on the crankshaft counterweight and is controlled by a sequence of pulsed micro-millimeter actuator movements mapped to the engine-management module.

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Shown on a single-cylinder motorcycle engine at this year’s International Inventors Exhibition, the concept was developed under the auspices of FAAR Industry, a leading French automotive consultancy specializing in electronic, network and software design.

New Rules Require In-Use Testing for Heavy Duty Engines

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced at the beginning of June that it will require in-use testing of heavy-duty diesel trucks and buses in order to more accurately and cost effectively measure their emissions. Using portable measuring devices attached to the engines, diesel engine manufacturers will be required to conduct testing on representative samples of their vehicles in 25 percent of the engine families they produce each year. The new on-road testing replaces laboratory testing currently in use, which requires the removal of the engine from the vehicle. According to EPA, these tests were more cumbersome, less accurate and more expensive than the in-use testing required in the new rule.

Prior to being rolled out nationwide in 2007, EPA will pilot test the new program requiring manufacturers to recruit volunteer test vehicles from fleets or individual owners. During the pilot, engine manufacturers will not be penalized for engine families that fail to meet EPA standards.

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For additional information, visit www.epa.gov/otaq/hd-hwy.htm#tech.

Car Care Council Offers ‘Be Car Care Aware’ Merchandise

The Car Care Council is now offering a line of “Be Car Care Aware” branded merchandise for purchase from the Council’s Web site at www.carcare.org.

Visitors to the “industry” section of the site will find a virtual store containing items such long sleeve denim shirts, short sleeve “polo” shirts, t-shirts, and caps, as well as premium items such as calculators, key chains, travel mugs, balloons, pens, calendars and memo pads.

In addition to the new merchandise, the Web site features content specific to the industry, including information on the “Be Car Care Aware” campaign, the point-of-sale starter kit, logo downloads, brochures, newsletters and on-hold messages. It also contains useful information about National Car Care Month in April, as well as a free Vehicle Check Up event planning guide.

Dana Awarded Patent for Plasma-Assisted Metal Joining

Dana’s AtmoPlas technology has the potential to revolutionize heat-treating by significantly reducing costs and improving both efficiency and material properties, said Chuck Heine, president of Technology Development at Dana.

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According to the company, the key to AtmoPlas technology is its ability to generate plasma at atmospheric pressure without costly vacuum equipment. The plasma harnesses microwave energy to quickly generate temperatures up to 1,200 degrees Celsius within seconds to efficiently join metal components, according to the company.

Major benefits of the technology include dramatically shorter cycle times, lower capital and maintenance costs and significant energy savings. Microwave-absorbing plasma utilizes 95 percent of the energy in microwaves to rapidly and reliably join metal parts through brazing, welding, bonding and soldering. By absorbing and focusing the microwaves, the plasma significantly reduces the possibility of arching while evenly distributing the heat, reducing the potential of thermal shock to metal components.

Dana is currently testing samples for brazing with its customers. In addition, future applications for AtmoPlas technology may include using microwave energy to treat vehicle-exhaust gasses, generate hydrogen, and create carbon nanostructures for use in the electronics and medical fields.

For more information about Dana, go to: http://www.dana.com.

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